I believe that many hearts make a whole person.
My first parent was a young woman named Sybil who, at age 17, bought me “fine clothes” and a lovely bluebird to hang over my crib. These were her gifts to me, as she was sending me off into an unknown future with the only “things” she could send with me. She held me only once in the hospital, unwrapping my blanket to see that I was fully formed, and then laid there with me as she trembled from the stress of what she was about to do.
Helen and Bob took care of me for the first two months of my life in 1962. Helen kept copious notes on my feeding schedules, noises and smiles. I was their second fostered baby and they would eventually care for over 30. My parents ensured that we all stayed in contact throughout the years and I remember Christmas caroling with them, and meeting their adopted daughter, Nikki. Helen has Alzheimer’s now, and Bob lovingly looks after her.
In June of 1962, just two months after my birth, I was adopted by my parents, Bob and Jo Ann. My life was idyllic; parents who adored me, a puppy, a suburban neighborhood filled with children my age, summers spent at camp and swimming with my friends, and always that annual vacation we planned as a family. My home was always filled with my friends, many of whom would call my parents Mom and Dad.
In 1983 Sybil reentered my life, thanks to my mother’s tenacious search for her. The young girl my mother began searching for was now, of course, a woman — with a career, a young son and a face that mirrored my own. Then, just two years later I found myself hugging David, the “co-conspirator” of my birth, and eventually an enormous family, many of whom had hazel eyes like mine.
At my wedding in 1988, all of our families joined to bring Philippe and I together. Our son, Noah, was born in 1996 and many hearts have loved and continue to love him through this life.
It is the essence, the humanity, the flaws and frailty of each of these hearts that make us all who we are. I would not be who I am today without Sybil, Helen and Bob, Jo Ann and Bob, David, Philippe and Noah, and the countless others of my family and friends whose hearts I hold without restraint and with immeasurable love.
This I believe.
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